Delegating can be a powerful leverage to your day. Here we discuss some of the techniques to delegate to your staff and build their skill level and free up time for you.

Delegation – according to Wikipedia.

“Delegation is the assignment of any authority to another person (normally from a manager to a subordinate) to carry out specific activities. It is one of the core concepts of management leadership. However, the person who delegated the work remains accountable for the outcome of the delegated work.” I could not have said that better.

In my opinion the last sentence is the most important. Some Managers forget that delegating is not abdicating. The authority within the task remains with the person doing the delegating and means they retain the accountability. The responsibility of performing the task is with the delegatee (I looked it up and it is a word) and they can make decisions within the scope of the task without having to seek approval or refer to the delegator to progress the task.

The most important communication between the Manager and the Employee is “I’m giving you this task because ….. “. It’s important the Employee understands the reason behind the delegation and it’s not just the Manager trying to get out of doing work..

Here are some of the reasons why you would delegate:

  1. The Employee has the skills to do the task and the delegation gives them an opportunity to use these skills.

They may be an understudy or being groomed as your replacement.

  1. You would like the Employee to gain experience in the skills necessary to do the task. In this instance you would expect the Employee to be slower and make mistakes and you may need to sit with them or train them in the skill.
  2. The Employee may have excess capacity and this task would help them to broaden their knowledge base.

They may have excess capacity now, but that may not be the case before  task’s completion time, so take care you don’t overcommit the employee and be prepared to take it back if they get swamped.

  1. You may need additional resources to complete the task and you are asking the Employee to help with part of the task.

This is a hybrid solution where you’d like to delegate the task but you’re not confident that they would complete the task well. You don’t want to set them up for failure, so this is a way of easing them into the skill.

The key here is that the task is still your accountability, you need to make sure it’s getting done. The advantage to you, is you are starting to clone you or leverage your time. They have you as their Mentor working ‘On the Job’ at developing their skills. You’ll create some space and time for yourself so you can get important tasks. 

The mistake some make is to fill this time with other ‘tactical work’ where a smarter approach is to set this time aside for planning and strategy or your own personal development. Investing your time wisely in these areas, creates even greater leverage.

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